Monday April 4, 12:50 p.m.
Amazing the difference one night makes. Charlie Sheen was virtually run out of town in Detroit after the horrible debut of his "Violent Torpedoes of Truth" on Saturday. Well, Chicagoans were prepared to adopt him as their native son last night. I'm not sure if it was so much the amendments...I think it was also the fact that Chicago seems to be more in synch with Sheen's brand of spoken-word lunacy. Maybe "Second City" was a good primer. In any case, the audience gave him not one but two standing ovations.
Last Sunday was the day of religion. Yesterday was the day of old friends and comfort food. I met Shard at our usual haunt of The Mad for a mess of wings and fries. The Mad was quite a bit more populated since it was a regular Sunday rather than a holiday weekday in Toronto. It was the usual talk of books, music and work. We extended our time together through a browsing session in BMV, the discount book store, and then coffee in the neighbourhood Starbucks. There, we got on the topic of music which shifted into a talk on my old dusty collection of 80s music from the radio on ancient Canadian Tire cassette tapes. Shard's usually stern eyes bounced since he could possibly track down some long lost remix gems among my collection and then burn them onto CD. I told him I'll follow up on it. I took a quick peek into the living room cabinet, and yep, they're there, although I can't vouch for the quality of of something that's nearly 30 years old.
Then, I went to meet my other old friend. CG and his family were watching the Jays game at Skydome (the Jays lost a close heartbreaker but the fans were still happy at the rocket-like launch of their team), so I streamed through the hordes of blue-clad yahoos and met Chip Guy in front of a sports bar across from The Dome. His wife had already gone on ahead to The Mongolian Grill in Agincourt.
The drive out of the parking lot itself took 40 minutes since there was a massive exodus, but Chip Guy and I didn't mind. We just used the wait time to catch up on stuff. There may also be some changes ahead for CG and his family. My old friend is rather pragmatic, and so if he can't find a better job to his liking in Toronto, he is more than willing to uproot his clan and head down Stateside. Selling his place is virtually a done deal since he found out that the country's 2nd-largest mall would be build just a stone's-throw away.
We finally did get out of Harbourfront, but the traffic remained heavy almost all the way to Agincourt. So, after a 90-minute ride, we arrived at The Mongolian Grill. I wasn't all that hungry after the mountain of wings but I was still able to hold up my end. CG's sister-in-law and nephew whom I'd met years ago when CG had still been living in Daikanyama were also visiting for the same reason I was: to escape from any potential nuclear meltdown disasters. Things in Fukushima have come to a somewhat stable if still worrying state, so the sister-in-law and nephew will be returning to Tokyo in a few days after 2 weeks in The Great White North. The sister-in-law and I traded our quake experiences. The waitresses could speak some Japanese, and our departure was delayed by a few minutes as CG's wife and sister-in-law had a chat with several of the staffers including the manager. CG and I will try to get together, perhaps even with The Entrepreneur, although now that I'm at the halfway point of my exile, scheduling will start to increasingly dicey.
Toronto's reputation for wacky weather is still intact. After gloriously warm weather in Elmira on Saturday, it started snowing last night only to be replaced by Spring showers this morning.
Dad and I went out to Eglinton Square this morning. He got his walk while I got my e-mail in the local library. Speedy and MB informed me that things are normalizing quite nicely which is reassuring to hear even with some of the gloom-and-doom news from Fukushima. One TEPCO operator was in tears as he gave the sad but inevitable news that the radioactive water that had been piling up in the reactor pools had to be jettisoned into the Pacific. The TEPCO workers have been attempting a number of solutions to stem the flow, but it seems like they can't catch a single break.
Even LaFille sent me a Facebook message stating that Ms. Efficiency had completed her last day last week. The bossman even brought cake for everyone for the occasion although I'm not sure how hard he had to bite his tongue. Certainly, she's not going to be missed by me.
The Wild Guy contacted me about possibly getting together on the 16th with Automan and The Tea Lady for dinner. He even laid a minor bombshell by stating that he's even considering a position...in Tokyo. I knew my friend wanted to get out of Toronto but to head out to Japan at this time seems just a tad too risky.
Last night, after getting home, I caught some rather interesting TV. The newest "Family Guy" episode had improved animation, no Cleveland Brown, and for the first time (at least for me), actual drama when Brian opted to sacrifice his life by giving his two kidneys to Peter. Seth McFarlane tried to lighten the mood with the usual anarchic gags but this time, there was no denying that there was gravitas in this very special episode. The Obama-in-Golden-Fat Elvis attire was a bit jarring, though.
I also caught "Robot Chicken's" skewering of "Star Wars". Now that "Family Guy" may be mellowing, Seth Green's show may be the only cutting-edge risque comedy left out there.
Then I watched the last bit of "The House on Haunted Hill" the 1999 version. It was remarkable to watch for the cast of genre types such as Famke Janssen and Ali Larter, and one Oscar winner, Geoffrey Rush. Perhaps I've gotted used to the few gory scenes of torture porn but the movie didn't particularly have me rushing under my covers despite the copious amounts of blood.